Music Hall CD25 VS. Audio Refinement Complete CDP

Dear Sir,

I will be building a budget system with Audio Refinement Complete Int.Amp., Vienna Mozart, Kimber Hero, Analysis Plus Oval 12. But I am not certain about which cd player I should get. After some research I have precluded that two cd players might be suitable with the equipment above, and which are highly regarded in terms of their 'performance to price ratio' - Music Hall CD25 and Audio Refinement(YBA)Complete CdP.

As for MH CD25 - many of reviwers say that this might be 'the best cd player below $1000' while AR Complete CDP is said to be 'one of the best cd players under $2000'.

But what is decisively, as it seems, different between them is the DAC technology they use: MH CD25 utilises a 24bit/96khz chip whereas AR complete CDP has got an 18 bit(8times oversampling). Quite frankly, I am not so sure wheather or not the difference above makes any sonically noticeble change since I have read some reveiwers say that it is nonesensical to use 24bit coding since the current compact disc (not the sacd) is only capable of utilising up to 20bit coding, that anything more would be but accessoriy which does not contribute towards actual sonical improvement at all.

If indeed the extra 4bit makes a noticeble difference thereby the overall sound be more 'transparent', then I would probably go for MH CD25. Especially since the AR complete int. amp., seems to produce less analytical/detail sound, it might be a good combination with very analytical cd players such as MH CD25.

Having said, I am curious to know as to why AR Complete CDR is almost twice more expensive than MH CD25 while they both are cliamed to be one of the best 'price to performance ratio' products. I mean, if MH CD25 is indeed the best price to performance product, then, wouldn't AR complete CDP be over-priced (provided that they both sound similar)?

I am confused.

Any comment/advise is welcome (esp. from ones who have compared the two).

I interpret your analysis of the two CD players as being primarily a comparison of the digital-to-analogue converters. Interestingly enough I haven't really found a correlation between "higher resolution" DAC's and quality sound, I think it comes down to how the D-A section works in concert with the balance of the player. Other very important factors to consider include the quality of the transport selected, power supply (often overlooked but extremely important), vibration control (YBA does a great job in this area), internal shielding techniqes, quality of the individual components used (capacitors, resistors, wire, semiconductors) etc.....

I owned an Audio Refinement CD Complete and currently own a YBA CD Integre and they are excellent products. With the current anti-French mentality I would imagine they can be bought for a fraction of their real value, worth considering. I haven't heard the Music Hall player but certainly it's reputation precedes it. Trust your ears. Best, Jeff
Try the Jolida Jd100 and Ah tube with upsampler,
cost below 1k, I have not heard the Mh25, and
the audio refinement.The JD100 performers are the
room, and AH cdp very musical,you can tweak it,
as much as you want.Good Luck